Sept. 2, 2004
Thanks to Hurricane Frances, Tallahassee fans will get a bonus soccer game Friday night as the Georgia Bulldogs come to town. Both Florida State and Georgia were scheduled to play Miami and FAU in south Florida this weekend before Frances caused a cancellation of the games. Since both schools were left with an open weekend, the teams decided to pick up a game against one another. The game will be an official contest and will be played at FSU Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The Bulldogs hold a 2-1 lead in the series but the teams haven’t played a regular season game since 1999. Patrick Baker is 1-0 versus UGA winning the only meeting 2-0 in Tallahassee his first year at the helm. The teams did meet in 2001 in a preseason scrimmage in Athens, GA. It was a tough night for FSU despite playing to a 1-1 tie. Keeper Ali Mims fractured her leg in the match and two years later is finally fully recovered.
Thanks to Hurricane Frances, the Seminoles picked up their 14th home game of the 2004 season now that Georgia has been added to the slate. Florida State has never played 14 regular season home games in team history. The team did play 15 home matches in 2002 but three of those games came in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. Depending on how the season goes, if FSU hosts an opening round NCAA Tournament game for the fourth time in five seasons, and wins the first match, the Tribe will host 16 home games. In 1995 and 1996 combined, FSU hosted just 15 home games total.
Freshman All-American Kelly Rowland became a huge offensive weapon for FSU with her long throw-ins and nothing has changed in 2003. The first assist of the 2003 season was Rowland’s and it came off a long throw-in. That gave the sophomore five career assists and all five off throw-ins. As quickly as the streak continued though, it came to an end. Rowland recorded another assist later that game, her third game-winner, and recorded the first multi-assist game of her career. This assist however came on the ground rather than through the air. The Pennsylvania native lofted a long pass to a streaking Julia Schnugg who was marked by an ASU defender on her inside hip. The ball landed between the two players and took a perfect diagonal bounce allowing Schnugg to use her speed to run on to the ball. The sophomore beat the Sun Devil defender in the foot race and then ended up scoring. The assist was the first in Rowland’s career that didn’t come by way of a throw-in.
Opening weekend of the 2003 Seminole soccer season had it all, most importantly two wins and one over a top 15 team. One of the most interesting aspects of the opening weekend was watching the Tribe’s young players shine Friday night and the veterans take over Sunday. In Friday night’s game sophomores recorded two of the three goals and two of the team’s four assists. Two sophomores (Julia Schnugg and Kelly Rowland) combined to score the game-winner. Sunday it was the senior’s turn. Camie Bybee set up the first goal to even the game when she drew a penalty kick and then fellow senior Katie Beal converted the kick. Senior Jez Ratliff then recorded the game-winner. In the game two seniors recorded both goals. Not to be overshadowed, a junior did her best to represent for her class and it wasn’t too hard to guess who it was. Consensus All-American Leah Gallegos was brilliant in both games and registered an assist in each outing.
After opening the 2004 season with back-to-back wins over Pac-10 powers Arizona State and USC, the Seminole soccer team (2-0-0) found itself in unfamiliar territory Tuesday. The Tribe moved up to No. 3 in all three polls released this week, the NSCAA will not release a new poll until next week. The No. 3 ranking is the highest for FSU in program history and sets a record for highest ranking by Soccer Buzz, Soccer Times and Soccer America. Florida State had never recorded a single digit ranking before finishing the 2003 season in the College Cup. The squad has now been ranked sixth or above for the last three polls dating back to 2003. Very few players on the 2004 squad committed to FSU when the Tribe had a top five ranking, including most of the freshmen but they are enjoying the new found ranking success. The new polls had a strong ACC flair as four conference schools were ranked among the top six in Soccer America’s poll, the top seven in Soccer Times’ poll and among the top eight in the Soccer Buzz poll. North Carolina is a consensus No. 1 and FSU is a consensus No. 3. Virginia is ranked sixth in two polls and fifth in another. The newcomer to the top eight is Clemson who upset Texas and Texas A&M on the road opening weekend. The Tigers are ranked fifth, seventh and eighth.
There were two big milestones lost in the commotion of FSU’s two big opening weekend wins. First, when the Tribe opened the year with a 3-2 win over No. 14 Arizona State it was the 100th victory in school history. It took almost six years for FSU to reach 50 wins and just over three years to get the next 50 to reach 100. That translates to 115 games to get 50 wins and just 84 matches to get the next 50. Just two days later the man who recorded almost 70% of Florida State’s 100 program victories picked up his 70th career FSU win and the program’s 101st victory. With the win over Southern Cal, head coach Patrick Baker notched win number 70 at FSU. The winningest coach in Seminole history has now recorded his 100th and 150th career victories while at FSU on top of overseeing the 50th and 100th wins in school history.
CAMIE BYBEE — Senior Camie Bybee played a crucial role in both of FSU’s wins over 2003 NCAA Tournament teams on opening weekend. After falling behind 1-0 in both matches, Bybee equalized the first game with a goal and then helped FSU equalize the second game by drawing a penalty kick on her run into the box. She also picked up an assist on the Seminoles’ second goal to complete the team’s comeback versus No. 14 Arizona State. The central midfielder was easily the team’s MVP of opening weekend. After ASU stunned the Seminoles with a goal just 1:09 into the new season, Bybee brought FSU back just four minutes later. The senior flicked Kelly Rowland’s long throw-in to the back post and over the keeper for the Tribe goal. Bybee then helped to break the tie as she recorded an assist on Julia Schnugg’s goal to put FSU up 2-1. Versus USC, FSU once again was staring at a 1-0 deficit 21 minutes into the game. The Tribe trailed into halftime when Bybee came out and breathed new life into FSU just 4:00 into the second period. The senior picked up a pass about 25 yards out and proceeded to beat four Trojan defenders before entering the USC penalty box. Just as she was about to shoot, Bybee was hammered by the USC defense leading to a penalty kick, which fellow senior Katie Beal converted to once again equalize the game. The two goals Bybee created were so huge considering both brought FSU back and played key roles in FSU going 2-0. After a 0-2 start last year, Bybee’s goals single-handedly helped FSU from repeating that fate.
KELLY ROWLAND – The sophomore started the season right where she left off in 2003 as a freshman All-American. The center back recorded two assists in the Tribe’s first game including the game-winner in a 3-2 win over No. 14/20 Arizona State. The two assists in a game are a new career high for the super soph and she now has six career assists. Her first assist of the game tied the score at 1-1. Her long throw-in landed right on the head of Camie Bybee and the senior flicked the header to the back post for the goal. Rowland’s second assist was the first of her career not to come off a throw-in. With FSU up on ASU 2-1, Rowland helped stake FSU to a 3-1 lead. In the 53rd minute and just eight minutes out of the locker room at halftime, Rowland once again was the catalyst on a scoring play as she lofted a long pass to a streaking Julia Schnugg who was marked by an ASU defender on her inside hip. The ball landed between the two players and took a perfect diagonal bounce allowing Schnugg to use her speed to run on to the ball. The sophomore beat the Sun Devil defender in the foot race and then ended up beating Bingham for the goal. The strike put FSU up 3-1 but was eventually the game-winner as ASU added a second goal later in the half.
JULIA SCHNUGG — Another member of FSU’s stellar 2003 freshman class opened 2004 in a big way this past weekend. Julia Schnugg was huge in Florida State’s opening night 3-2 win over No. 14/20 Arizona State as she recorded two goals including the game-winner. The freshman scored twice in a game for the second time in her career as she upped her career goal total to eight. Schnugg broke a 1-1 tie versus the Sun Devils with her first goal of the season in the 35th minute. Camie Bybee started the play with a pass to MAC Hermann Trophy watch list member Leah Gallegos. The consensus All-American dribbled at three defenders. Schnugg slipped in between the ASU back line and held her run perfectly until Gallegos drew enough attention. The two then read the defense and Gallegos slotted Schnugg in 1-v-1 with the keeper. The Alamo, CA native beat Bingham for the seventh goal of her career. She then put FSU up 3-1 as she sprinted 40 yards to goal with the ball at her feet and once again beat the keeper 1-on-1. The goal was key considering ASU added a late goal of their own to close the gap to 3-2.
As mentioned previously in the notes, Camie Bybee had a pretty special opening week. The senior continued to show why Patrick Baker calls her one of the most under appreciated players in the nation. This week she got some appreciation from Soccer Buzz. The senior was named to the website’s Elite Team of the Week for the second time in her career. The first award came when Bybee was a freshman and she was just the second Seminole soccer player ever to garner that honor. This time she is the first though. No FSU player has ever won a national or conference player of the week honor after the opening week of the season except for Bybee.